The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quit Wednesday in the wake of a report about her buying a tobacco stock after she took office last year.
Brenda Fitzgerald resigned as CDC director after Politico reported Tuesday she bought and sold shares of Japan Tobacco Inc.
, which owns such U.S. brands as Winston, Camel and Benson & Hedges. Prior to joining the CDC, Fitzgerald had stock in five other tobacco companies.
“After advising Secretary [Alex] Azar of both the status of the financial interests and the scope of her recusal, Dr. Fitzgerald tendered, and the secretary accepted, her resignation,” said a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC.
Politico’s report said the tobacco stock was one of about a dozen new investments Fitzgerald made after she took over the agency’s top job.
Preventing smoking is a major focus of the CDC.